The Christmas Lamb

Not much thought is given to the lamb at Christmas time, outside of the little lambs tucked in the nativities on our shelves. But the Lamb was always present with Jesus. 

The lamb was always in his shadow. 

He was born in a stable with lambs at his feet. 

His first worshippers were the shepherds who lived in solitude much of their lives with lambs as their only companions. 

When his parents presented him in the temple, they couldn't afford a lamb so they purchased two pigeons to sacrifice to redeem him as the first born son. 

The lambs would have been heard bleating throughout the temple, waiting for sacrifice as he visited with his parents for Passover as a boy. 

As he sat under the Jewish teaching as a child, he would have learned about the great Passover where God spared all the firstborn of Israel if they painted their doorways with the blood of the lamb.  

The lamb was always in his shadow, his temptation to walk away from being the atoning sacrifice did not only take place in the 40 days in the wilderness or the dark, lonely night in the garden it {was always there. 

The lamb followed him every step of the way, reminding him of what he must do to save his people. He could have abandoned us at any point, yet he kept walking, each step mirrored by the shadow of the lamb until the shadow itself consumed him as he hung on the cross and declared, "Father forgive them." At that moment the shadow of death hovered over the Firstborn Son of God, and he died in our place as our Sacrificial Lamb. "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." 

 

 

Rachel Baxter